FARMERS CONNECT

Farmers Connect is one of the flagship programs of Dr. MCRF to support farmers for their overall growth and prosperity.

Objective

To support and strengthen livelihood of farmers by creating a network and developing solutions that work across food-value system starting from awareness, production to consumption by consumer thereby increasing the income levels of the farmers and make them to feel `Proud’ of their Profession.

Our Strategy

Addressing farmers’ needs: We have dialogue with farmers in individual capacity and as a group and find out about the challenges they face, from selection of crops, source of seeds, method of cultivation, to postharvest technology and market linkages. We understand and address the farmers problems by developing inexpensive solutions as per the farmers requirement for that particular region.

Improving Agriculture Productivity: We provide farmers with a comprehensive solutions that includes facilitating improved variety of seeds, provisioning better manure, cost-effective farm tools, farm management practices, agriculture education, applying `digital technologies’.

Promoting and developing skills in advanced agricultural practices: With decreasing ground water level, insufficient rains, and decline in availability of agriculture labor, MCRF felt it is vital and need of the hour to encourage farmers for cost effective mechanized practices that shall help them grow more in less land, water, fertilizer. Further we enable and educate farmers in simple and affordable postharvest technologies, which shall improve shelf life and market price for the food produce.

Endorsing collaborative farmers’ association: We maximize transfer of knowledge, adoption and facilitation of agriculture technology, providing alternative employment, especially for small and medium sized farmers through collaborative farmer cooperatives. These shall serve as: -

  • Information centers for farmers
  • Voice for farmers market advocacy
  • Facilitation centers for strong village and regional farmers market associations.
  • Centers to promote farmers’ markets to the public.
  • Centers to develop and provide awareness programmes and networking opportunities for farmers and farmers’ market vendors.

Facilitating Effective Market Linkages: We connect farmers and farmer cooperatives across various regions directly to the consumers/ markets. We facilitate farmers’ connection throughz a Value-Chain-Thinking-

  • Understand the role of agriculture in contributing to climate change and developing sustainable agriculture practices which can help in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • Promotion of watershed based farming system in rural areas in rainfed areas to improve profitability and food security of small farmers.
  • To facilitate training activities for farmers on agriculture and allied subjects and empower farmers for better agriculture practises.
  • To provide information to farmers on Govt. schemes,and available financial assistances from govt. and other funding agencies.
  • To provide/arrange alternative employement to farmers during agriculture offseason. For example MCRF shall provide gardening/ horticulture (skill) oriented jobs to farmers in near by towns/ cities.
  • To promote farmers market that contribute the success of local food growers and producers and create vibrant community gathering thereby benefitting the local farmer.
  • To facilitate a platform in creating market linkages such as links to food processing industry, for locally grown millets, fruits and vegetables.
  • To provide information on postharvest technologies and facilitate in providing Renewable energy based Green House Solar Dryers and Solar Bubble Dryer for farmers.
  • To create/ provide farmer friendly mobile apps for farmers, on-the-go-growers and ag retailers. These apps shall provide latest agriculture trends, equipment, technologies and methods being used.

Main Intended Activities

  • To upscale Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture (Co-op model) through Farmers Connect.
    • Farmers Connect initiative creates a meeting ground for nature-friendly consumers, Food processing industries, Large scale consumers such as Megamarts and farmers.
      • Blend the values of traditional bazaars with ecological concerns.
      • To build a new supply chain on Farmer to Consumer model which helps.
    • Increasing farmers’ income
      • By realising better prices for their produce, locally grown by adopting ecological farming practices through scientific approaches.
      • More employment opportunities by value addition and selling processed produce.
    • Consumers in getting access to healthy and diverse food at a low cost.
    • A Participatory Food Quality Assurance System and a Fair Trade Model that would enable consumers to buy food produce which is directly connected to the livelihood of the farmers.
    • Direct retailing to consumers (bulk/individual consumers)
    • Build Information resource center/Agri clinics at village level, which shall act as nodes in providing the necessary information/advise for farmers on
      • Seed Production and Marketing
      • Promote conservation and revival of existing variety of seeds
      • Scientific method of cultivation
      • Selection of appropriate Agricultural tools (to be lent by MCRF for free of cost)
      • Choice of relevant and need based fertilisers etc..

  • To improve the quality of life of farming communities by promoting environmentally safe and sustainable methods that would enhance the quality and quantity of crop/plantations/livestock yields especially especialy focusing on millets, fruits and vegetables.
  • To enhance the participation of farmers, both women and men, in all processes of problem analysis, technology development, evaluation, adoption and extension leading to food security and self reliance among farmers and rural communities.
  • To facilitate community access and control over natural resources and to build institutions and coalitions at different levels for strengthening People’s Agriculture Movements, which focus on empowerment of marginalized sections like Women, Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities.
  • To develop a Sustainable Agriculture Resource Network that promotes sharing of knowledge, material and human resources. To serve as a repository for documenting, collecting, storing, collating and disseminating information/success stories from different sources on sustainable agriculture.